Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Well, today I feel like I won something. I'm positive that many people at the zoo thought my daughter should've been thrown to the lions.
It began with her less than friendly demanding behavior, it culminated when she fought with her baby sister, couldn't work it out.
I let her know, "I think we're going to have to leave the Zoo, sweetheart." She screamed and ran to the play area, took some time to herself with her umbrella. I waited for a bit. My friend, whom I had been looking forward to chatting with on this leisurely afternoon at our lovely Denver Zoo, offered to attempt to coax her back into good graces. But I know this: I have warned her once, very clearly, very quietly, very firmly. If I waffle, she'll continue to dance on the boundary and see just what she might get away with, making a most miserable afternoon for me and the rest of our party.
"Oh, my, it's so sad. We have to leave the zoo."
"NOOOOOO!!!! I. DON'T. WANT. TO. LEAVE!!" thunderous, she's gotten everyone's attention in the small pavilion near the seals & sea lions.
"Hey, I think you're more creative than that."
"NO!" she's crying and caterwauling.
"Hey, that's pretty good. I think you can scream louder. Show all these people what an actress you are?"
She's pushing the dolly stroller, holding her umbrella, in her long dress she was insistent to wear...she stops. "Will you be bringing the stroller along? Or leaving it here? I know I can carry you, if I do though the stroller has to stay here."
Crying and caterwauling she starts moving again, "I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE!!!"
We make a little progress to the exit.
"NOOOO!!!" screaming. She stops again. "I'M NOT LEAVING!!"
"Oh? That's an option. How will you get home?"
She pauses, then starts moving, "YOU'RE DUMB!!"
"Maybe so, I still love you."
"I HATE YOU!!!"
"Nice try (chuckling), I still love you."
"IT'S NOT FUNNY!!!!"
"I know. It's so sad to leave the zoo, it's a total bummer!"
Getting closer to the Feline house, I ask her if she needs a hug. She nods. Then we continue slowly making our way to the gate, intermittently she yells lamenting, "I don't want to leave, though!"
And I respond with, "I know."
In these situations, it's not me that's embarrassed. I'm not the one losing my mind in front of strangers---thank goodness I've got more parenting tools at my disposal now!
Eventually we made it to the car, loaded up, and had a lovely, silent, cool, ride home...and me grinning all the way.
P.S. Since we've a membership at the zoo, it's easy to leave knowing I haven't wasted "all that money" on entrance, etc. If we didn't have a membership, though it would've stung the wallet, and the resentment would be challenging to let go, I'm positive the follow through would feel wonderful next time we're at the zoo and she does behave.